We didn’t have much time in Boston, just arriving the night before to make sure that we didn’t miss the cruise due to flight delays. We stayed at the super convenient Airport Hilton which offered a free shuttle. It is in walking distance of other airline terminals, but from the terminal serving American Airlines, felt it was too far to walk with all our luggage.
We enjoyed a nice dinner out with friends who live in the Boston area at a local Italian restaurant. Boston Italian food is very good!
The Embarkation and Debarkation Process were my only two complaints on an otherwise wonderful cruise.
Through no fault of Holland America (well maybe a little) the embarkation process in Boston was simply terrible. The ship was just coming back from sailing out of Europe, so that ship had to go through a full Coast Guard and customs inspection before guests could begin embarkation. That issue is unavoidable as it is a requirement. However, the communications from Holland America were inconsistent and confusing. We had an 11:30 check in time, and then two days before the cruise we received notice that the ship was going to have Coast Guard inspection and that we should not show up until 1:30. The next day we got another confirmation saying we should show up at our original 11:30 time. So with there being confusion I called reservations and asked for clarification. The agent told us that we should show up at the time that is on our express pass. That put us back at 11:30. Well of course the inspection was still going on and we weren’t able to embark until about 2:00 pm. They did provide seating, complementary snacks and water, but it really would have been better if they had just pushed out departure time to 6:00 pm or 7:00 pm from the beginning and sent us the check-in time of 2:00 pm from the start.
Debarkation was similarly disorganized. We had been notified that we should take the Holland America airport transfers because of a closed tunnel to assure that we could get to the airport on time. There were no delays as this was early on a Saturday morning. I asked my husband if he could see regular traffic in the tunnel, thinking that the tunnel we took was just for mass transit, but he said that there were regular vehicles in the tunnel. So we could have taken our preferred method of private transfer, we were on a bus for around the same price, if not more. The whole thing was very chaotic and not well coordinated. They should have had us assigned to busses according to our airline and then had a corresponding assigned bus, but instead we had to ask the ground staff which bus and where. The sidewalk was very narrow and was piled up with people so once we were told which but to go to, we had to fight our way through the mass of people and suitcases to get to our bus.
Truly, the beginning and end of the cruise embarkation/debarkation issues were the only problem we had with the cruise. Once onboard we had a lovely lunch in the Lido Market Place and a beautiful Sail-A-Way.My Cruise History